Fat days. We all know ’em. We all hate ’em. And they happen to the best of us: the skinny people, the curvy people, the happy people and the moody people. Let’s face it: fat days are inevitable my friends, but it doesn’t mean they have to suck as much as they tend to do. I’m writing this post because I had a…dun dun dun (my attempt at scary, frightening music)…fat day yesterday. I woke up and I just felt like a big, bloated blob. It had nothing to do with how I looked in the mirror, what my friends said, or the scale (in fact, I didn’t even weigh myself). I just felt like a big girl, even though in reality I know I am not. I’ll admit: I don’t have fat days very much now, but they still happen once in a blue moon. I used to have “fat days” nearly every day in college…especially sophomore year when I was ironically much thinner than I am now. That’s because “fat days” are mental…it’s an emotion and a feeling in your head, not a reality. You can wake up and “feel fat,” but to the outside world you’re still the same, beautiful, wonderful women you were yesterday. You may feel fat for a number of reasons: too much pizza the night before, a bad day at work, a ridiculous fight with your boyfriend, skipping a workout (or 5), or just going through a rut. But in reality nothing has changed about your exterior at all. You are still the same person you were the day before…and the day before that.
While my personal “fat days” occur far fewer than in my unhealthy past, I won’t deny that they still don’t happen every now and then. The difference is that now I know how to handle these unfortunate days. My solution used to be kicking the scale in fury (really, I’d kick it across the bathroom like it was my worst enemy), having a mental breakdown, and starving myself the rest of the day while throwing myself a pity party. I remember one day in particular in college that I literally had a panic attack, uncontrollably crying to my roommate for no reason other than that I felt “fat.” She told me I was beautiful, that I looked the same as I always do, that it was all in my head. Now I know she was right along. I am beautiful (and so are you). I (and you) do look the same you always do. And it is all in our heads.
But how do we handle these damn fat days that sneak up on us once in a while? I am here to tell you my surefire way to deal with the big, bad elephant in the room and move on with it. The next time you have a “fat day,” you’ll kick its big, fat ass (really you will).
Step 1- Realize Where Your Feelings are Coming From: Are you stressed? Over-tired? Physically feeling bloated ’cause your jeans won’t zip? Pissed off at a friend? Guilty of overeating? In a poopy mood because of the dreary weather? You must find the culprit first, and that will help you better understand your feelings. For me it was a mixture of physically feeling bloated with having *one of those days* due to many things (I was feeling lazy, uninspired, pissy, with maybe a touch of PMS). The bloat thing was easy to solve. While I didn’t get fatter overnight (um, impossible), I didn’t really hydrate myself the day before, hence holding on to a heck of a lot of water weight. I also enjoyed some salty late-night eats, making me extra-bloated. No girl likes bloat. Solution? Drink more water! All day yesterday I guzzled the H2O and felt fabulous. As for the blah day, I realized I just needed to get out of the house, “unplug” and do something (anything!) and maybe I’d start to feel a little better. And boy did that do the trick. Once I found the source of my problem (re: the fat day), I realized quickly it was all in my head.
Step 2- Do Something Sexy: Put on your hottest, curve-hugging dress. Rock those skinny jeans! Wear that risqué VS thong you save only for *special days*. Today is a special day. It’s a day for you, so make yourself feel your ultimate best! Straighten your hair if you usually wear it curly, dab on some perfume even if you are just going to the grocery store (hey, ya never know), shake your hips and take a good look at yourself in the mirror. Yup, you’re sexy and wonderful. The fat thing was all in your head. I put on my go-to “skinny” yoga pants I got for $8 at Marshall’s and immediately felt a little better. The worst thing you can do for yourself is hide under layers of baggy sweats and sulk in front of the TV because you feel fat and gross. Get dressed up for you even if that just means putting on a fave piece of jewelry, squirting pretty body spray or wearing your go-to yoga pants (like me).
Step 3- Get Moving: Get out and embrace the day! In college, if I felt fat, I’d have a “fat”, I-feel-bad-for-myself day where I’d lay in bed, cry and eat stupid zero-calorie food. blah. What’s the fun in that? GET OUT OF THE HOUSE GIRL! LIVE A LITTLE! Get moving and soon you’ll start to forget you were ever feeling down. It’s the same thing as when you’re having a “bad day.” Once you get out, start laughing and find a distraction, you quickly forget why you were even upset in the first place. Go grocery shopping. Take a trip to your favorite park. If you’re stuck at work, go for a quick stroll on your lunch break to get out of the office. Yesterday, I went for a 3.5 mile run (it helped a little), took a long hot, steamy shower (it helped a little more), lotioned up (getting closer), and then booked it to the park with a few good books and a notepad to write. The trip to the park did the trick. I was able to refocus and concentrate on *me*. Do what works for you!
Step 4-Eat Something Delicious: The number one mistake I made in college was starving myself on fat days. That actually works against you! How the hell is a day of eating iceberg lettuce, sugar-free jello, and egg beaters going to improve your mood? It’d actually make me feel worse. We need to eat food that makes us feel good, ignites our taste buds and that we can enjoy. When I was in Italy a few years ago, I ate whatever the hell I wanted – pasta, pizza, gelato, risotto, seafood, fresh bread, gourmet cheeses – and guess what? I didn’t have a single fat day over there. Not one. Fuel your body. Enjoy your food. Eat what you love and move on with it. I could have very well sulked yesterday, ate a banana and called it a day. But instead, I fought through it. I made my fave breakfast from when I was a little kid (“a kill-da-guy-egg”, don’t ask), and you bet your butt I enjoyed every last bite of it.
Step 5 (The Most Important)-Move On: Tomorrow is another day and I assure you this stupid, fat feeling will go away. It doesn’t control you. It’s just a feeling, a figment of your imagination and if you don’t let it get to you, it won’t. Tackle your next “fat day.” Show it who’s boss (and that my lovely lady is you.)